Post 9/11 GI Bill Changes to Take Place on August 1, 2013
by Kirk R. Gray
One of the big benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the benefit’s transferability. Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits can be transferred to family members of our servicemembers, enabling children and even spouses to use the benefit to finance their education.
But beginning on August 1, 2013, servicemembers will have to serve an additional four years to transfer the benefits. This changes the 2009 rules that said members who were scheduled to retire between August 1 2009 and August 2012 would only need to commit to an additional one-to-three years of service from the date of transfer. This change was announced on April 15th.
“This is a benefit. Soldiers are entitled to the benefit for their own use, but to transfer to dependents: that is used as a recruiting and retention tool,” said Lt. Col. Mark Viney, chief of the Enlisted Professional Development Branch.
Obviously, these change comes at a time where tuition assistance is still a hot topic, with the reinstate of military tuition assistance, but changing these rules could have an impact on the amount of money that family has set aside for dependent education and how much longer the servicemember needs to stay enlisted. Until the change is put into place on August 1st, it would appear as though retirement eligible soldiers may be able to continue to transfer these benefits to dependents with anywhere from zero to three years of additional service.
Since this announcement comes at a time of uncertainty and military draw down, it was stated that if a servicemember incurs additional time so that they can transfer the benefits, and are unable to serve he or she may be required to repay those benefits, but that wouldn’t apply if the servicemember is involuntarily separated from the Army.